About

Jan Donia about the work ’Communications’ from the book ’Going Dutch’ 2001

The beginning of a dream (To think,feel and want) The pastel colors and attractive red lips make the ’Communications’ by Koos Veerkamp 1955 Poeldijk on the gable of the NautaDutilh building on Kruisplein, look like an advertising message! But what product is being advertised? Daily,thousands of people get to look at the high, slim artwork (24 x 7,5 meters). Within a few months it had really established itself within the townscape and you can’t imagine the gable without it anymore. But it stil remains mysterious in the way that the depicted elements of mouths, brains and fetus are so curiously connected. The image is being interrupted. By what, I still don’t know,even though I have passed it on foot, tram and car dozens of times. However, it is the unknown element that really determines the strenght and quality. Even Veerkamp himself cannot clarify this to me. He refers to the symbolicness of the work and talks about ’sonar waves’. I am not a whale, but I should be envious of the way these mammals communicate in such a mysterious manner.

Veerkamp is a sculptor. Two-dimensional works by sculptors always differ from the work that a painter creates on a flat canvas. The same as sculptures made by painters differ from how a sculptor would produce the same work. This difference can be intriguing, and is evident in this particular work. That is why I grew to love this work, wich graphic designer Linda Zoon produced in such an excellent way on the computer. If it were up to me it would stay there permanently as it really adds to the aesthetics of the building. Maybe than, I might be able to unveil the enigma, wich has  captured me. Veerkamp was given the mission by NautaDutilh to develop an independent work of art. The starting point was Veerkamp’s ’relief’ from 1993, wich hangs on the ground floor of the law and notary office. Altough the same elements are present in the reproduced artwork,its appearance on the gable gave it a very different look. The elements speak for themselves. The intelligence (the brains),the language (the mouth),the conception (the fetus)! Suddenly, by thinking,feeling and wanting,this hits home. Perhaps I am starting to understand this work after all!
Nautadutilh’s collection contains various metal statues by Veerkamp such as the sculpture of stainless steel in the pond of the courtyard. Geometical shapes, however a little interruption on the statue brings the work to a different, higher purpose. Veerkamps art of sculpting is determined by architectural impulses.
In recent years he has constructed a series of remarkable interiors out of cardboard! Stairs that lead to nowhere, or maybe to heaven? I am a real enthusiast of this work and despite the identifiability it remains inaccessible.
It is a very warm personable work of art, but that warmth is being fed by an unknown energy source. I can really distinguish that on this gable. ’Communications’ is the beginning of a dream
Laurent Nouwen who has been responsible for the art policy at the law and notary office for fifteen years , about ’ Communications’ in the same book says :

’For when the exhibition is up and running, I have make justifications to the confreres. To exhibit is to confront! People somtimes do have their reservations with for example work by Joep van Lieshout or Koos Veerkamp. These works have a philosophy to wich you have to be open. You have to be able to dare to cross your limits. That goes for me too. It shouldn’t always be easy.I don't always want approachability; so let the pain confront us.'